In case your friends, family, or the abundance of rainbows around you didn’t tip you off, Pride Month is here. You can now buy anything and everything in rainbow packaging or colorways, including but not limited to eye shadow palettes, mouthwash, and color-changing lip balm. Make Up For Ever’s latest campaign takes a new approach to June’s celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, though. It’s stepping away from ROYGBIV in favor of a new range of 12 nude lipsticks under the tagline, #AcceptedAnywhere: Own Your Nude.
In addition to donating $2 from every Artist Nude Creme sale, MUFE also asked youth members of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the nation’s longest-running LGBTQ+ youth service organization, to participate and model in the campaign. For those unfamiliar, HMI provides hot meals, health services, counseling, and so much more to LGBTQ+ youth for free all year round. Miss Fame and Gigi Gorgeous even teamed up with the brand to help mentor HMI youth members during a recent visit.
The models featured in the campaign — Zahnab, Kateri, Wilvis, and Lavender — give absolutely stunning faces to HMI. They help make the organization less of a sidenote in MUFE’s Pride campaign by putting the people who it benefits most in the spotlight to give them the visibility they deserve all year round. “I and other HMI youth all have dreams that are hard to accomplish because we have don’t have privilege,” Zahnab tells Allure. Campaigns like this, “Give us the funding, space, support, and opportunities to achieve our dreams,” she adds.
All of them are part of HMI’s Cast Me Training program (or CMT), which offers tools for aspiring models. “HMI offers great opportunities such as paid internships, scholarships, and fun after-school activities,” Kateri says. “HMI is very accepting and encouraging to anyone of any color, race, gender, and sexual orientation, and it’s amazing because you get to meet new people who are very open-minded towards those things.”
HMI has also given Wilvis space to be their best self. “I put my mental health and my life before anyone else because I feel like I can’t help others while I’m broken,” they share. “I like to keep myself together and be the healthiest person I can be so that I can help others achieve similar accomplishments. HMI has a unique and supportive group of staff that allows us to create and build our own safe space.”
To learn more about the models and Make Up For Ever’s Pride campaign, I asked Zahnab, Kateri, Wilvis, and Lavender five quick questions. Keep scrolling to find out their answers.
1. What was it like to take part in the Make Up For Ever campaign?
Zahnab: “It was a dream come true.”
Lavender: “As someone who is a staunch nude lipstick wearer, it feels good knowing I took part in the debut of the new Artist Nude Creme collection, meeting and being in conversation with Miss Fame, talking beauty at the photo shoot, and just sharing space with great people.”
Kateri: “It was very exciting for me to take part in the Make Up For Ever campaign. It was my first big photo shoot I’ve done with a company, and it was truly a blessing to be a part of it. The energy there was very welcoming and friendly. I also enjoyed getting pampered. I had my nails and hair done, and they did my makeup beautifully. They made me feel so flawless and fierce, and this inner goddess came out of me during the shoot.”